Air India pilots have written to the airline's management seeking details about the mutated strain of coronavirus recently discovered in the United Kingdom. The letter to director of operations Captain RS Sandhu on Tuesday stated that the company is obligated to collect and disseminate so that the new strain does not pose a threat to its staff and their families.
According to experts, the new strain of COVID-19 is 70 per cent more transmissible that the earlier strains. Reports suggest that higher rate of transmissibility might not lead to more hospitalisations or deaths due to the virus.
The letter by Air India pilot noted that the airline has been at the forefront of relief missions, ferrying essentials, and conducting evacuation and repatriation flights around the world. Hence, the pilots should be informed everything there is to know about the new strain of COVID-19 virus.
"The company is duty-bound to procure and disseminate information pertaining to Covid-19. In this regard, we demand that the company procure information from the labs and promptly inform all pilots who have tested positive as well as pilots who may test positive in the future if they are infected with this deadlier variant of SARS-CoV-2," the letter read.
"We demand this in the interest of the country, the frontline workers of Air India and their families to ensure that this deadlier lineage does not get a foothold into our homes and are hopeful that the company and the government will not hesitate in promptly providing this crucial information," it further read.
Earlier this month, Air India had asked its pilots and cabin crew to stay in their hotel rooms during layovers at both domestic and international destinations on account of the new COVID-19 mutant. Sandhu, in a mail to the crew, wrote that the news of the new mutated strain being up to 70 per cent more contagious is rather disturbing and that the Air India staff should take care of themselves as well as the passengers.